Continuing with the top ten songs to kick off this blog, here are the next two:
- Zombie—the Cranberries
Much of the conflict in politics and the larger world today is based on longstanding rivalries that sometimes go back generations. We continue the fight based on a tradition, and often without even knowing what started it.
The Cranberries made this point in a piercing way back in 1994. They were writing about “the troubles” that were raging in Northern Ireland at that time, but easily could have been writing about the Middle East, our Congress, or any number of other places where fighting today is driven by people seeking vengeance for grievances that often go back centuries.
There are many examples of this in our political sphere today, where it is frowned upon by the respective “bases” to even consider working with folks on the other side, often because of anger over past slights when the other side had more of the power. While there is no doubt it can take a lot more courage to end a fight than to start or continue one, it often is the only way forward. The success of getting past that history in Northern Ireland, while it took years of patience and hard work and is still in many ways a work in progress, should serve as an inspiration to all of us on this front.
- What’s So Funny About Peace, Love & Understanding—Elvis Costello (Nick Lowe originally)
This one goes with Zombie above, highlighting the timeless values for living in harmony with people from diverse backgrounds and viewpoints knowing that we never will always see eye to eye.
Recognizing there are times when this strategy clearly won’t work (when we are dealing with dangerous extremes, for example), it’s a pretty good place to start from as our standard way of looking at things.
Thanks for sticking with me so far, and stay tuned as the list continues early next week.